I don’t know if every pre-teen girl gets one, but when I was about 9, I got a pamphlet in the mail for America’s Junior Miss Pageant in L.A. I looked through the papers once, twice, hundreds of times, and even saved it in the back of my dresser for years. I wanted to do it so bad. I finally gathered up the courage to ask my mom if I could do the Pageant. Of course, she said no. Why would she say yes? The entrance fee was almost $1,000, plus the cost of the dresses, trainers, tutors, travel expenses, food, gas, hotel.If you were in the top 10, you got to go to the next one, then the next one. And you still have all the fees and traveling expenses. Ever since then, I have wanted to be a model.
Then came the T.V. show, Hannah Montana. And I wanted to learn how to sing, so I could be an actress like Miley Cyrus. So it them became a Modeling/Singing/Acting career that I wanted. And thus became my unrealistic dream. I had other dreams that were more realistic: animal trainer, dolphin trainer, Professional Tennis Player, and others I can’t remember, things that don’t really have human contact, I now realize.
And that is how I found my unrealistic dream. Unrealistic to me.
There is lots of controversy that ProScout is a scam. I can tell you now, it might be a scam. It does not work for everyone, but neither does Chemo treatment. I know I shouldn’t be using cancer as a comparison to getting discovered. It just happens to have worked for my family. Yes, you do have to pay, but you will always have to pay to be in this business. Travel, pictures, hotels, interviews, renting space, coaches. You are helping rent the space, pay for the meeting for the agents, and/or travel expenses for the ProScout workers. They travel to actual town before getting invited to the big event. They don’t pay for hotels on their own, going to 2 or 3 cities and towns a week in between the big events. In the end, if everything works out and you work hard, it pays back in the jobs you get. Jordan has already made the money back in the 3 gigs he has done. So, you decide for yourself if it is a scam or not. From how it has worked out for us, it doesn’t look like a scam. If the company already has a model or actor with very similar looks are talent, they won’t ask you to speak to them. They already have a you. But, them, how can you catch their attention? By being the best you can be. Maybe that is why I went back 3 times. They already have a 5’7″ 19 year old brunette girl. Why wouldn’t they? But how did they? Sometimes it is just timing. It has worked out for Jordan, Lynnsey, Nina, and I. It has not worked out for Kelsey, T.J, or Shannon.
ProScout is a “convention” that puts you in front of agents and managers and talent seekers. They help you get to where you want to be. Day one: you are given a number, lots of talking, some guest speakers, some actors who were discovered by ProScout are there to tell their story and answer questions, perform a prepared 30 second monologue for two people who work for ProScout and they put up a paper that evening of who gets to perform for the agents the next day, you practice your runway walk, and you are done. There are extra workshops you can sign up for at $25 a person, but they are just for information about the industry. Day two: you do the runway walk (just so they can see how you move and your body shape) for the agents and managers, you do a walk-by (in a line, everybody walked by every agent/manager with a body shot and a head shot you brought), and the monologues are performed. But, because there is about 500 participants and their parents and family there, it can take a few hours. Then they post paper of what numbers got callbacks from which agencies and managers. They set up a conference room with tables for the agencies and managers so you can talk to them, get head shots done or sign some basic info papers that they want done. They usually call you a week or two later to set up a time for you to some in to their office to sign papers or have a meeting or they send you the papers. If you are under 18, you need a work permit and an entertainers permit. And that is basically it.
Now comes the next part, getting “discovered”. I will say it now: It did cost thousands of dollars. But we still made it happen. The cost for one person for the first time is $825, plus hotel, gas, and food. After the first time, it cost about $265, plus hotel, gas, and food. That is for one person. The first time, it was Jordan, Lynnsey, Nina, and I. The second time I went, it was Shannon, Lynnsey, Nina, and I. Jordan had gotten an agent the first time we went. He signed a 2 year contract about a month after we did the event. At the second trip, Lynnsey got an interest, after her agent asked her to get braces before she signs. And Nina got an agent. Third trip, about 5 weeks ago, Kelsey, T.J, and I went. No call backs. But Lynnsey came with us on that trip because her agent was going to be at the event and wanted to see her in person and talk about signing a contract. So Lynnsey got an agent in that trip.
So, how did I get discovered? My mom sent some pictures that we took, spur of the moment a week ago, and sent some to Lynnsey and Nina’s agent. They both have the same one. A few hours later, we got an e-mail from him saying that he will sign me. He attached my contract and a paper of the site I need to register on. I did 3 of them, but i can’t see the document he sent. I need to go to Kinkos to print it up. So I’m signed up with the ones Lynnsey is signed with.
Jordan’s agent is City Models in San Francisco. And Lynnsey, Nina, and now I have an agent at BMG in Los Angeles. Jordan’s contract ends in January, but he will have to terminate it early because he is going to U.S. Marine boot camp on August 13 at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.
I know the question will arise “Why did you go to ProScout the second and third time if you could have just sent in pictures to your siblings agent in the first place?” Well, they wouldn’t have agents if they didn’t go and I went for the experience. I wanted to try on my own first, not “mooch” off my sister. It is all about connections. You get your first gig. You meet another model there and you keep in touch. They tell you about an audition. You get and get the job. You meet the director who says you will be perfect for the part of a movie that someone is casting and he gets your an audition spot. You get it. You now have a contract with ABC. Someone sees you in that show or movie and likes your performance or hears you were really nice and always prepared and on time. Everybody wants to be your friend and wants you to audition now. I’m not saying it is that easy, but that is how it COULD go in the long run. That’s how it MIGHT be for someone. That’s how it COULD be for me. You never know. and it never hurts to ask.
So. Was it “3 strikes you’re out” or “3rd time’s the charm”? Both. The third time, I was struck out. But if we didn’t go, then Lynnsey wouldn’t have had that meeting with her agent and gotten signed. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to send my pictures to him, and I wouldn’t have gotten an agent. Ideally, I would have liked to get my agent’s interest the first time i went down, or any of the the three so I would have done it on my own. But I am also happy with how this story turned out.
And with that lengthy post, I leave you with peace, love, and the image of cotton candy in your head.